Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Some Home Truths

The Pond has been back up for five months now. And I am glad to say that I have been able to keep the business going. I have taken Bridal work, shot portraits, an annual report, shot a building, shot family work, taught 3 classes at Objectifs. Nothing glamorous really, but the income has been paying the salaries and the bills. I am a dreamer dreaming of the big shoot or a big project. I dream of being a successful commercial photographer as well as an arts photographer. I demand a lot out of myself and my staff. But the key to my survivability is not a defining photographic identity, but a reputation for getting the job done. A minimum lower quality that I can deliver day in, day out, regardless of my personal emotional state. The work that I am doing right now is not going to win me any awards, but it keeps the office running. And that in itself, is a truth.

The complimentary truth is that I am in photography because I love it. And it is easy to loose the soul of image making, when all you do everyday is practical photography. And inspiration does not well up everyday. So each day, I take time to look at other photographers and visual artists work. And I shoot for myself as much as I shoot to earn money. And whether or not I am completely inspired, I keep trying things. Some projects are still born and end up sitting on my proverbial shelf. Some projects start small and take on a life of their own. There is seldom any point of time that I have any clarity in the direction of my personal work, but I just continue to shoot. Trusting that the direction comes from going forwards.

I shoot for only three reasons,
1. Because I love the subject and want to shoot it
2. I can learn something from doing the shoot
3. I am being paid for my professional services

These are the main reasons I shoot. Yes, I do shoot for altruistic purposes like charity, but I do my best to have fun under such circumstances. A win-win situation. But I will not do a shoot if I think that the results do not reach my minimum standards. I will have to be paid an extraordinary amount of money to shoot something which I believe to be substandard.

Basically, to engage in an activity, it has to have a positive direction and hopefully outcome.

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